June 23rd, 2014 by Editor
On Monday the 23rd of June 2014 the Cairo Criminal Court has passed a rigorous prison sentence of seven years to three journalists from Al-Jazeera, after being convicted of crimes of incitement against Egypt, broadcasting false news and aiding a terrorist organization. In addition to that, 11 men were sentenced in absentia to 10 years of rigorous imprisonment while both Anas Muhammad al-Beltagy and Ahmed Abdelhamid Abd al-Athim were acquitted of their charges.
The penalization of the accused Muhammad Bahir Khazim, Ahmad Nasser Ghorab to three years of rigorous imprisonment on charges of acquisition of ammunition without a license in the same case known in the media as the ‘Marriott cell’ where the prosecutors accuse the culprits of taking over two suites of the famous Marriott hotel in the centre of Cairo as their centre of media coverage.
The 20 defendants are accused of having joined an organization, actually established in contradiction with the provisions of the law to suspend the work on the constitution and the law, interdicting the exercise of state institutions offices, damaging national unity and social peace, targeting public structures, and exposing the safety of the society and its security to risk. The prosecution charged the foreign defendants – one Australian, two British and a Dutch woman- of spreading lies that damaged the national interests, providing funds, equipment and information to 16 Egyptians and of using a broadcasting device that was not licensed. At the same time, the 16 Egyptians are facing charges of belonging to a “terrorist organization”, in reference to the Muslim Brotherhood.
The 11 defendants in absentia to rigorous imprisonment 10 years are:
1) Alaa Mohamed El Sayed Bayoumi
2) Anas Abdul Wahab Khalawi Hassan
3) Khalil Ali Khalil Bahnasi
4) Ahmed Abdu Fath El Bab Abdel-Hamid
5) Mohammed Fawzi Abdul Aziz Ibrahim
6) Saeed Abdul Hafiz Ibrahim Elgamel
7) Nora Hassan al-Banna Abu Bakr
8) Ahmed Abdullah Mohammed Attiya Dawood
9) Dominic Laurence John
10) Susan Melanie
11) Johanna Ideniette
Sentenced to rigorous imprisonment 7 years in presence, are:
1) Mohammed Mahmoud Fadel Fahmy
2) Baher Mohammed Hazem Ahmed Nasr Ghorab
3) Khaled Abdel Rahman Mahmoud Ahmed Abdel-Wahab
4) Suhaib Saad Mohamed Mohamed
5) Khaled Mohamed Abdel Raouf Mohamed
6) Shadi Abdel Hamid Abdel Azim Ibrahim
7) Peter Greste
In this regard, EOHR expresses its deep concern about the continued detention policy towards journalists, which contravenes the Egyptian Constitution and the international instruments on human rights, and in particular the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which states in article 19 “the freedom to hold opinions without interference, and to impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers”; the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, issued in 1966, which confirmed that “Everyone shall have the right to freedom of expression; this right shall include freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through any other media of his choice”. The Egyptian government ratified these instruments, which thus became part and parcel of the domestic law according to article 93 of the Egyptian Constitution.
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